Sam Mills was a gritty defensive player in the National Football League. Despite his 5 foot 9 inch frame, Mills played 12 years in the NFL, spending his time with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. Before entering the NFL, Mills spent 3 seasons with the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars earning the nickname Field Mouse for his tenacity. Playing along side Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White, the Stars won 2 league titles. Through the years, Sam became a leader on and off the field, eventually serving as an assistant defensive coach for Carolina following his retirement.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him, James 1:12.
Before his untimely death, Mills was known for giving inspirational speeches. Prior to a playoff game with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, Mills encouraged his defense to Keep Pounding for 60 minutes, referencing his battle with cancer. This phrase became a mantra for the Carolina Panthers as the team later added a drum to drive this message home to each player. In April of 2005, Mills succumb to his battle with cancer, dying in his home town of Charlotte. In the following fall, the Panthers honored Mills by retiring his number 51 jersey. The legacy of Sam Mills continues today with the theme, Keep Pounding.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up, Galatians 6:9.
In the verse above, the apostle Paul uses a different way of expressing keep pounding. Instead of applying this to football, these words refer to life. Everyone will face trials in life. Whether it’s an accident, illness or unforeseen circumstance, staying positive isn’t easy. Yet, when you develop perseverance and a will to keep pressing on, God honors the steadfast. Therefore, whatever obstacle is currently standing in your way, keep pounding until victory is obtained.
by Jay Mankus